Love is a wonderful thing. I find myself writing about it often, even though that’s never my intention. There’s generally almost always a romantic plot or subplot to my writing, and even if we aren’t talking the “Let’s get married!” sort of love, the big L is still a large part of what I write.
I’m a romantic. I got it from my smarmy parents I guess. What’s more, God is love, and Christ is the center of my life and my first true love, and so since Love is our great commission from Him it stands to reason I can’t help writing about it quite often.
I enjoy writing love stories, and I feel compelled to because of the ridiculous concept of “love” that worldly media paints. Drama and gossip is exciting, and we want to feel justified when we act how we shouldn’t. Wouldn’t it be a lovely thing if someone told you that everything you ever did in your life was the right thing to do?
We have so many books and movies that tell you it’s okay to be caught between two lovers, yoyo-ing back and forth between them as it tickles your fancy. They tell you its okay to leave someone at the drop of a hat for someone else, and they reinforce the idea that the moment someone you claim to love is injured, damaged, difficult or not quite the same as when you started that you’re justified in up and leaving.
Let me just be blunt and state that doesn’t make you driven, focused, flirtatious or any of the above. It makes you a coward, plain and simple.
Still, there are some stories that use this plot device and do so in a fascinating manner. One of my favorite movies in all of its various re-imaginings is Appleseed (despite Briareos suddenly not being an ethnic other any longer…). Most recently, as of a few years back, they did a movie titled Appleseed: Ex Machina. I believe it was the first movie I rushed out to get on blu-ray. The rebooted story follows Deunan Knute and hubby Briareos on a mission to stop a rogue AI from wiping out the planet as we know it. Briareos was mortally wounded in the line of duty some years prior, and his body was all but destroyed. Much of it was replaced with cybernetic enhancements, leaving him with only his arms intact. Little did they know that the force they worked for had cloned Briareos for reasons implied to relate to his amazing prowess in battle.
The top brass decide that the clone, Tereus, will accompany Deunan and Briareos as they attempt to stop the Halcon virus, and despite her best efforts Deunan can’t help but feel herself pulled between the two of them. Being a clone of Briareos from before his World War III injuries, he has the face and voice of the man she loved for many years, and of course the vast majority of his mannerisms and traits as well. While his own man, his clone origins leave Tereus deeply attracted to Deunan and his orders make him almost eager to see Briareos fall to the virus and go berserk.
Watching Deunan’s struggles was a painful and intriguing experience; the story was realistic and well written. The resolution was exceedingly well done as well.
Love is a trigger word for my wallet; if you’re not writing a meritless story about some girl bouncing between all the guys she likes, rather a true love story you’ll likely get my money. I loved the “How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?” tag of Shadow of the Colossus, and likely would’ve given it a shot even without the amazing gameplay and concept that came with it. What I’ve played of Xenoblade and Pandora’s Tower was great as well.
I also love stories that demonstrate the love and devotion of family, such as Nier Gestalt and Lone Wolf and Cub.
I feel like love is a great emotion to convey in a story; it resonates with everyone. We all either have love or want love, and can all either give love or take love in some capacity or another. We can be in love, we can be loved, we can reject love, we can desire love, and the big L has caused great nations to rise and fall across time immemorial. Love is one of the most powerful emotions in our arsenal, both in life and in the pen. Love and Fear are two of my favorite swords to cut my literary path with; they’re emotions that reach us on a very primal level and often times go hand in hand.
Love and Fear, Fear and Love, they go together like the sun and the moon. When you have love, perhaps you fear losing it. When you don’t, perhaps you fear gaining it, or never finding it again. Perhaps you were cut deeply by love, and so experience fear. Perhaps you reject fear, and desire love. Intertwined, they oft become two halves of the same whole.
My upcoming dual release of The Blackest Rain: Sorrow and The Blackest Rain Book 1: The Sovereign explore those halves in a very raw and real manner. On the outset we’ve got the story of the devil slayer Rosalia Valentine reeling from the death of her uncle who raised her setting off on a mission to save the children of a small protestant village from a demonic Count. Beneath that we have her fighting to recover from the betrayal of her boyfriend/fiance of four years, a night walker called Vincent, and the return of the first man to break her heart, a German devil slayer by the name of Graham Himmel.
Rose is caught between the pain of her uncle’s death, the betrayal of Vincent, the return of Graham, and the anniversary of the day her mother abandoned her at age six. Somehow she has to hold on to her faith in God while struggling against all of these conflicts thrown in her face one after the other. And now, Graham wrestles with being content to be by Rose’s side during this time of great conflict and turmoil, and his irresistible urge to try and rekindle the flames he’d smothered so many years ago.
“Would you still love me…if I broke your heart?”
In More Than a Fairytale Book 1: Xea’s Story, we see the destruction of the relationship of trust and confidence between protagonist Xea and older sister Leah, as well as the loss of faith between parent and child therein. As Xea is suddenly caught up in an otherworldly conflict, having to battle against the forces of the dark empress known only as The Mistress, the question between parent and child becomes
“Would you still love me…if this was all my fault?”
and between siblings becomes
“Would you still love me…if I failed to protect you?”
Love is a beautiful, wonderful, terrible, powerful weapon/tool/emotion/state of being. Please do wield responsibly.
More Than a Fairytale Book 1: Xea’s Story has been temporarily taken down as we move to a new publisher, and will be available once again mid May.
The Blackest Rain: Sorrow and The Blackest Rain Book 1: The Sovereign will both be available for purchase following the June 7th First Friday launch event at Dessert First in Anchorage, Alaska. We’ll be taking pre-orders the week prior.